Former President Pranab Mukherjee was conferred with the Bharat Ratna on Thursday August 8.
The former President was selected for Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian award, in January 2019. The announcement was made in a statement issued by the Rashtrapati Bhavan which had also stated that the award would be given posthumously to social activist Nanaji Deshmukh and noted Assamese singer Bhupen Hazarika.
Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had congratulated Mukherjee for his service to the country. "Pranab Da is an outstanding statesman of our times. He has served the nation selflessly and tirelessly for decades, leaving a strong imprint on the nation's growth trajectory. His wisdom and intellect have few parallels. Delighted that he has been conferred the Bharat Ratna," PM had tweeted.
Mukherjee was also congratulated by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. "Congratulations to Pranab Da on being awarded the Bharat Ratna! The Congress Party takes great pride in the fact that the immense contribution to public service & nation-building of one of our own, has been recognised & honoured," he tweeted.
Pranab Mukherjee has been a veteran leader of Indian National Congress and has occupied several ministerial portfolios in the Government of India. He studied at Sri Vidyasagar College and later earned advanced degree in history and political science as well as in law. During five decades of his political career, Mukherjee held various key posts in the Congress as well as in the governments led by Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, P V Narasimha Rao and Manmohan Singh.
He served as India's 13th President from 2012-2017, but prior to his election to the post, Mukherjee also served as the Union Finance Minister from 2009 to 2012.
As Finance Minister, Mukherjee signed the letter appointing Manmohan Singh as Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
Born on December 11, 1935, in a Bengali family in Mirati, a village in Birbhum district in West Bengal, Mukherjee completed his Masters in Political Science and History and LLB degree from University of Calcutta.